Quickapply and I went through a rocky period in December. I’m committed now, but then I was totally planning to jump ship:

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I spent a whole week generating, researching, and validating different ideas. And memes aside, I was totally planning to move forward with one of these. Can you guess which one?

#1. Kuruvi

Problem: Bay Area Indian immigrants want stuff (snacks, clothes, etc.) from India.

Solution 1: Getting travelers to share luggage space for money. Say, $100 for a suitcase’s worth.

Solution 2: Shipping those sought out products to the U.S. myself and selling the specific products here. #globaltrade #IWorkAtFlexport

Pros:

  • I’ve seen people ask friends to bring over goods as a favor, but never pay for a shipping option. The shipping options are costly, $32/kg or 2200 rupees/kg at cheapest. In contrast, $100 for a 22kg suitcase is a lot better.

Cons:

  • Indian people are cheap, no price will beat FREE.
  • I’m not the user here. My parents are. Would require building something not for myself.
  • Marketplace, how the heck would I seed it
  • Would have to validate people are willing to be kuruvis. What’s the incentive structure here?
  • Is this legal? And how would I prevent illegal activity?
  • I’d have to talk to Indian parents a lot to figure out this space. Which is kinda weird. Idk.

Verdict: My mom shot it down, which was worrisome, because she’d be the user. I’d also have to interview my mom’s friends to understand the space better, which would be awkward, though maybe I’d get over it. I’ve currently dismissed it as not my opportunity to pursue.

#2. Blinders

Problem: The Internet is so distracting, and not just the main sites like Facebook and Twitter, but also Medium, Quora, StackOverflow, etc.

Solution: Chrome extension that hides not just Facebook/Twitter, but other sites, especially recommended articles/links on various sites.

Related Problem: So easy to get distracted when doing research for an article.

Related Solution: Chrome extension to show only 3-5 Google results, so you don’t click on every link when doing research.

Pros:

  • Name is clever AF, look up the definition
  • I would use this so hard, and I think it should exist. Medium “More from Medium”, Quora “Related Questions”, Stackoverflow “Hot Network Questions”, LinkedIn “People Also Viewed” have killed my productivity at various points.

Cons:

  • I can think of ZERO chrome extensions that make money. Probably not impossible, but probably an uphill battle.
  • After many hours of research, I found uBlock Origin’s element picker, which can is a Chrome extension you can use to custom hide anything. Doesn’t work all the time, but exists.
  • The FB hiding chrome extensions don’t even have a ton of users.

Verdict: In the short term, I want to make money. I see it as a scorecard more than anything else, but this was a dealkiller for me.

#3. Expat List

Problem: What are the good software engineering jobs abroad? And maybe not as often a problem, what are the breakout companies abroad with SWE jobs?

Solution: A job list that has those software engineering jobs! MVP, a spreadsheet. Perhaps not just a job list, but a resource for looking for SWE jobs abroad.

Pros:

  • There exist many internship placement agencies in Asia, which suggest to me, people need help
  • I kinda wanted to consider a SWE job abroad, but it was hard for me to know what was out there.
  • I can see how marketing this would work.
  • Info software product. Low cost, high profit margin.

Cons:

  • Can’t users just filter on job aggregators per location? You can’t use Breakout List’s success to support Expat List, because there’s no breakout filter.
  • Do people actually want this? I wasn’t able to do interviews, so not 100% sure.
  • Would need a ton of eyeballs to monetize (to get companies to sign on).

Verdict: I don’t know if people actually want it. But I do see the path forward in making it and distributing it if they do. Info software product!

#4. RichTerm

Problem 1: Terminals hurt my eyes when looking at logs and error output. Can we have some automatic styling for that stuff?

Problem 2: When I code, I get errors. I don’t like that.

Solution 1: Better styling, not enough to warrant new product.

Solution 2: Automagically suggest fixes in terminal for errors. Perhaps MVP, show StackOverflow thumbnails based on error message?

Pros:

  • If you can make it rly good this could be a startup rather than just a small business.
  • This is hard for me to reason about cuz there’s a bazillion kinds of terminal output and a bazillion kinds of errors. I need to pick a specific vertical. Smth easy might be Ruby or Javascript language errors?
  • For the SO thing, it’s not 10x better, you might as well just google for it.
  • I need to do problem discovery in this area. Rn it’s a bit SISP
  • No idea how to monetize - maybe make it web-based + subscription ideally.

Verdict: I actually didn’t research this one as much as the others. But it’s super hard for me to reason about the solution, and again, it seems a bit like a Solution In Search of a Problem

#5. CaaS—Community as a Service

Problem: It’s hard to find a community (a friend group) when you get to a new city. Mostly just get one-off friends. Also, in adulthood in general.

Solution: Some platform that organizes a group of people to become a friend group. Potentially through an initial trip (I believe this is a great way to form a friend group, there’ll be a group chat plus extended time to hang out). Potentially through housing (Bungalow might do smth like this tho). Potentially through some kind of community center, like a subscription based dining hall or bar? Or some variant of fraternity pledging?

Pros:

  • I think I’d especially be suited to building something like this. I’m super observant and interested in social dynamics, and my time as helping with my student org in college would translate over to this community building.
  • I would really feel like I would be doing good in the world. Bringing people together makes me feel really happy.

Cons:

  • Obv. meetup.com exists. I have heard it often falls flat, but I’d have to try it myself to see how it fares. In any case, there are many ppl that want friend groups and don’t use it.
  • How would this scale? No idea. How would I monetize this? Not sure. But I can see myself as super interested in seeing where this goes.

#In Conclusion

I think it’s unlikely any of you will implement these ideas.

I remember I was vaguely worried these two Facebook commenters would steal my Quickapply idea, which was silly.

See my chat with a friend:

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But they never did build out the idea!

On the real though, I don’t mind, build one of these out! Do an awesome job, and then tell me all about it :)